Service That Matters

According to Gartner the world’s leading information technology research and advisory company, 64% of people think that customer experience is more important than price in their choice of a brand. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator.

It’s no surprise that expectations are climbing both in technology but also in personal service. In the age of the robo-advisor phenomena, I find this stat especially interesting. While there is no doubt that some investors will naturally trend towards the “do it yourself” approach. There are many who want that personal touch and experience that only a one-on-one relationship offers.

So how does this apply to your practice? Consider these two questions:

  1. How are you checking on your service to clients?
  2. Do you truly know what your clients think and are telling others about their experience with you?

One advisor I work with recently added a check-up line item to his agenda for his annual review process. By listing this agenda item, he is holding himself accountable to ask his client, “How are we doing?”

He has three topics under the agenda item: Communication, Access to Team and Follow-up/Service. He chose these three as areas that he has concerns about and as the mechanism to invite honest conversation. By listing the actual topics, he guides the conversation to specifics rather than vague answers.

By sending the agenda in advance of the meeting, he sets the stage for the upcoming conversation allowing ample time to think about how the client may answer these questions.

Their comments are noted in the CRM, and a summary email is sent to the client noting the action items for next time. Any check-up items are noted as well, so no one loses sight of his mission to provide superior service.

I encourage you to think about what you can do to personalize this process. Admittedly, I will use Uber, an ATM, and Blue Apron to avoid having to talk to anyone about getting car service, accessing my funds or grocery shopping. But I am the first to complain when stuck on hold with Verizon and furious when the doctor takes too long to see me and then rushes me out. I want personalized service for the things that matter most to me. Do you know what matters most to your clients?

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